Thanksgiving is upon us, the annual time to reflect on what to be grateful for. (And no, it's not just a holiday to pig out and then attempt to sound smart by saying the word "tryptophan" repeatedly.) And there's no more perfect companion to a day of gluttony by sitting down and watching NFL games all day and night.
Wait a minute, Thanksgiving is the perfect day to be thankful for...football! Yes, I'm still observant.
With that in mind, FN Follies brings you a list of ten things that we football fans should give thanks for. Naturally, this list won't be quite what you'd expect, but here goes:
- Good Thanksgiving matchups. Unlike recent years, this year's games (Houston Texans at the Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots at New York Jets) all feature at least one team in playoff contention, and look to be fairly competitive on paper. That said, don't blame me when two of the three inevitably are duds.
- The New York Jets. They may not be very talented on the field, but any team that turns on Tim Tebow, causes Rex Ryan to NOT make bold predictions, and makes for great tabloid headlines is a winner in my book. Thanks for all the great comedic material, J-E-T-S!
- The bad teams. Why would I single out squads like the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars (NOT pronounced "Jag-WIRES"), and Carolina Panthers? Because they are so adept at grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory and giving their opponents to rally for a late victory. Case on point: these three squads all blew leads and left me with three great overtime games to watch in Week 11. Keep up the good work!
- Bye weeks. Fantasy Football owners may detest them, but I don't. A week without another poor performance by the New York Giants meant that I could actually enjoy other NFL games for a change.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers regular jerseys. Because their 1934 throwback uniforms are so hideous, fans everywhere now have an even greater appreciation of their traditional black and gold. The only thing worse that the performance of Byron Leftwich this past Sunday was seeing those awful jerseys yet again.
- The DVR. Don't want to miss a play because you need a bathroom break? Hit the pause button. Sick of seeing the same, awful commercials over and over again? (You know, like the cheesy Subway one and the ubiquitous Samsung ad featuring LeBron James and his family.) Have no fear - let that pause build up for a few minutes and just fast-forward back to the action. How did we live without this way back in the late 20th century?
- Phillip Rivers. Thanks to his second consecutive disappointing season, we now have plenty of opportunities to harp on the fact that he was traded for Eli Manning. In addition, it's also fun to single out people who once claimed that he was actually going to be a better quarterback that Eli and Ben Roethlisberger. Special thanks to the inept Norv Turner and A.J. Smith for helping Rivers and the San Diego Chargers to underachieve.
- Teams recruiting Jon Gruden. The media reports have run wild this week - will he coach the Philadelphia Eagles? Will he try his hand at the college ranks and consider coaching Tennesee or Arkansas? Regardless, we should all be optimistic that we may not have to hear Gruden not criticizing players and coaches as the color commentator on Monday Night Football.
- The City of Pasadena. For clearing the way for an NFL team to potentially play at the Rose Bowl until a new stadium is built in Downtown Los Angeles. And don't rule out the proposed Grand Crossing stadium in the City of Industry, either. Does that mean an NFL team is finally returning to L.A.? Probably not, but it's a start.
- Football Nation. All kidding aside, special thanks go out to this great website that gives writers like yours truly to have a forum. Unlike the "experts" in the mainstream NFL media, FN is truly a voice for the true fans who have a passion for writing - and no hidden agendas.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving.